Arsenal's record signing of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon is the most recent of a long line of strikers Arsene Wenger has picked up on one of his cross-channel shopping sprees. Lacazette has a record of a goal every other game in France, and Arsenal fans will be hoping he can emulate that form for Arsenal in the Premier League. Wenger's mining of French football has uncovered gems in the past, players like Emmanuel Petit, who was signed from Monaco, or Robert Pires from Marseille, and although club legend Thierry Henry was signed from Juventus, it was his time under Wenger at Monaco that led the Arsenal manager to convince the board to sign Henry for what was at the time seen as a rather large fee.

But for every Petit or Pires, there's also been a Yaya Sanogo, Park Chu-young, or Marouane Chamakh. Such French flops have led some Arsenal fans to be wary of any signing from Wenger's homeland, and there was plenty of skepticism over Olivier Giroud when he was first signed. But rather than focus on the flops, Arsenal fans should see France as a great place to find the next big thing.

When fans hear that their club is about to buy a player from Ligue 1, their first concern is that the level of football in France is lower than England, and so their new signing might not be able to match their French performances in the Premier League. An oft cited example is Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his fifty goals in his final season for Paris Saint Germain before he moved to Old Trafford. But Ibrahimovic had an excellent goal scoring record before he moved to France, and still hit 28 goals in 46 appearances for a struggling and defensive-minded Manchester United side before his season was cut short by injury.

The quality of the French league is still high enough for players to make the transition to England relatively easily, and, unlike the Dutch Eredivisie, is unlikely to produce players who excel in France only to fall in England. Arsenal's French flops like Park Chu-young, who only scored twelve goals in his best season for Monaco, while being decent in France, were hardly setting the world alight there either.

In fact, being a slightly lower standard than the Premier League is an advantage of sorts. Players who have proven themselves in Spain's La Liga or Germany's Bundesliga are invariably snapped up by the Real Madrids and Bayern Munichs of the footballing world. Attracting such players without breaking the bank on player salaries is a tough ask for Arsenal, and could lead to them signing duds, players not seen as good enough for the game's other elite clubs. It is far better for Arsenal to pick up a star player from France who has been missed or undervalued by other clubs.

French football at the moment seems to be going through a particularly golden spell, and the national team is packed full of talent. Don't be surprised if Lacazette isn't the last star player picked up from Ligue 1 this year.